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Comment Filter the work area (Score 4, Insightful) 261

I'm in a similar situation as you, OP.

Managing distractions is the key thing I am working on.

I manage a team consisting of a systems engineer, one help desk person and a bank operations clerk that depends heavily on the technology group.

We are unfortunately not back office, we are very accessible to the general bank staff. This has its blessings but far more detractors in my opinion. There's an expectation by the rest of the bank staff that my people are accessible at any time for walk up questions. This is far from the case, we all have our projects and work queues.

So what I have been doing to deflecting these walk ups and ad-hoc requests as much as possible. I find these distractions to be the biggest hindrance to productivity and employee happiness for my group. My people just want to keep things running and solve business problems. They do not want to help people download photos of Mr. Sniffles to their "hard drive".

Long story short, consider the distractions whether it be operational, logistical or even political. If you can insulate and protect your people from the minutia that is the modern workplace, I think you will find them productive and happy. Your people should feel like they completed something each day they leave. Also leave at good hours and be able to leave the office behind on the weekends.

Comment Bad seals on the bearings and master bearing (Score 4, Interesting) 101

Actually, something else is causing the seals to fail on the bearings and master bearing. The sampling pipe was the original theory but it could not account for the damage being done.

FTFA “Contractors are not entirely sure what’s happening to the seals. They’re letting sand in, which is not good,” said Matt Preedy, deputy Highway 99 administrator for the state Department of Transportation (DOT). “Either you’ve got gaps somewhere, or you’ve got cracks in the seals.”

Basically, our water front soil make up is not ideal. Much of the Seattle water front is fill dirt from various late 19th century and early 20th century projects around Seattle. Much of the path Bertha is taking underground is lined with caissons to keep the liquid dirt at bay.

Comment Re:Overpopulation (Score 2) 926

It's a cycle. Overpopulation requires more arable land for agriculture. When there isn't any, it's created, such as the San Joaquin Valley. This valley was basically desert. This was done by damming a few rivers and irrigating the land. That being said you can only convert so many deserts for agriculture, you start to run out of water, even if you still receive your normal annual rain fall. That would be a drought caused by over population. Same thing is is happening in Phoenix. The water table continues to drop and the aquifers are becoming harder and harder to reach. Not due to climate change but by more people.

So dealing with overpopulation needs to go hand in hand with changing how we generate and use energy.

Comment Re:Overpopulation (Score 2) 926

There's a movement in the industrialized world. Fewer young people are choosing to have children period. I'm not sure if this trend would ever offset those who choose to have 5, 10 or even 12 offspring in their life.

A Vietnamese friend once explained that in Vietnam, people have large families as infant mortality was quite high; to the point that children would be referred to by their birth order for several years until it was certain they would survive. So the oldest would be "First One" then so on and so forth. With modern medicine, infant mortality has plummeted but cultures still believe they need large families.

I agree, family planning is one tool to mitigate our future issues.

Comment Re:€ (euro) (Score 1) 868

In the US, Direct Deposit rules vary by state. There are states that allow employers to offer only one method of compensation, meaning direct deposit.

On another note, there are a number of reasons why we still use checks in the US. The main reason is playing with float. Companies will squeeze every cent out of their money by hanging on to it for as long as possible. The banks do it too. Also, the banks have been putting "band-aids" on the check problem. Notably, Check21 or digital check clearing.

The Fed (our reserve bank) has made a successful push to digitize all paper item clearing. Checks rarely make it past the branch or payee. This is thanks to branch capture and remote check deposit products.

Checks are still the cheapest and easiest way for individuals to make payment. With the advent of digital item clearing, it's not going away. Until micro-payments become cheaper, we'll continue to use checks.

Comment I was thinking this would be a boon for me... (Score 5, Interesting) 212

I was thinking this would be a boon for me. I do in home and business support in my off hours, good spending money. However, due to my issues with McAfee, none of my regular clients use McAfee AV products.

So, if I had recommended McAfee to my clients, I would be a rich person now. Damn, doing the right things doesn't make as much money!

Comment Re:Don't *put* your data on it. (Score 1) 395

I don't why the parent has been moderated as funny... It's actually insightful. I use the Ubuntu live CD and web services for information storage when I need to do personal stuff and all I have is my company issued laptop. It keeps my data seperate, away from their prying eyes and in a single location so I can work with it when I have my personal laptop available.

Comment Re:After-hours Maintenance (Score 2, Informative) 576

The issue with powering on machines is solved with wake on LAN.

However, it seems everyone has implemented this differently. I administer a Dell shop. Not all the workstations seem to respond to the same magic packet. The division is across NIC chipset manufacturers. The Broadcoms work one way and the Intels work another.

In my experience, leaving the machines one is still the best solution.

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